Avoid hidden banking fees

If you spend $5 on a cup of coffee, then put $50 of gas in your tank and later drop $100 for dinner, you might think your bank would deduct the debit card transactions in the order in which they were made.

But your bank’s logic may be different than yours.

In a process called transaction reordering, your bank may count transactions from the highest to lowest, rather than in chronological order.

If you only have $95 in your account, your bank might count your $100 transaction first, then ring up the rest. That means you’d pay overdraft fees for each transaction.

At $35 each, transaction reordering could cost you $105 in fees, or $70 more than you’d pay if everything was counted in the order in which it came in.

Smart move: You can reduce the impact of transaction reordering if you make sure not to opt in for overdraft coverage. Debt card transactions instead will be denied if you don't have enough money available.